Over the years I’ve become quite adept at being able to time exactly when I need to leave my house — or anywhere else in the town I’m living in for that matter — in order to make it to a sporting event precisely when kickoff or tipoff is taking place. I’ve become scary good at this, in fact.
I’ve developed this “talent” largely because I simply don’t care much for the ceremony/pageantry surrounding most sporting events. I could care less about in-stadium pregame shows. I’m there to see the game. That’s all I care about.
Such was the case last night when I attended the men’s college basketball national championship in the Superdome. I timed it so that when me and my friend got to the stadium we had just enough time to hit the bathroom and the concession stand and then be in our seats for tipoff. And then when the game ended we immediately left. I had no desire to stick around for post-game ceremonies. I took the pic below as the clock struck :00 and we got the hell out. When we arrived at one of the bars near the Dome we were the first people at the bar. It all worked out perfectly.
Of course, since we arrived at our seats right when the game is tipping off, we missed perhaps the worst singing of the National Anthem since Rosanne famously butchered it years back. I knew they had to be bad when I checked my Twitter feed at halftime and just about every fourth or fifth tweet was a Fray joke. The Kentucky fan sitting to my right also noted the following at one point: “Consider yourself lucky to get here when you did. They oughta send that band they had sing the National Anthem to Guantanamo for messin’ it up so bad.”
Look, unlike many people, I have nothing against The Fray, but this is spectacularly bad. Memo to musicians of the world: Stop trying to tweak the Star Spangled Banner. Just sing the goddamn song like it was meant to be sung. You’ll be doing yourselves and all of us a huge favor by doing so. You can’t turn meatloaf into prime rib. Attempting to do so will almost always end in somebody’s kitchen being burned down.